The Mars Generation (2017) Movie Script

[Raj] I have no information
from anyone in space.
I mean, this is important.
[Patrick] Ground Leader checking in.
I was directly told that we cannot
land on Mars before we do a med check.
Meteor shower incoming!
We have a meteor shower!
[metallic banging]
CAPCOM, come in.
Guys, just stay calm. We believe the
orbiter can survive the meteor shower.
[banging continues]
I believe we have a leak.
OK, pressure's going down. This is bad.
[camper] What do we do?
Get them out of here!
No! Oh my god!
[camper screams]
Throw them in the FEMA hallway!
Moderate cabin pressure
onboard the Station.
Cabin leak check. Losing air pressure.
[banging continues]
Are we dead?
Are we OK?
All in a day's work!
Space for me is one of the things
that defines me most, I think.
It really is a central part of who I am.
I am a space nerd.
Yeah, I would say that I am a space nerd!
I am the biggest space nerd
of all the space nerds ever.
It may not look like it, but I am.
Because space is space and it's awesome.
-[CAPCOM] Up here we may be slightly...
-[mission control] OK, stand by.
We have you go for orbit.
You're go for orbit.
[Dr. Michio Kaku]
When we look at the night sky, we think
"Are there any planets out there
that are possible homes for humanity?"
[newscaster] The spacecraft almost seemed
to grow stronger as the days went by.
Going to Mars will foster
an entire revolution
in how people think about
how they will invest their brain energy
in their lives and in their careers.
By the way, this next generation wants
to do it because they know it's cool.
[astronaut] Go for landing, 3,000 feet.
[mission control] You're looking great,
so we know it will be a good flight.
[CAPCOM] Astronauts report it feels good.
[Raj] It's been over 50 years
since we've done
something significant like this.
Having a man, or woman, walk on Mars
is just the most badass thought
in my mind.
[mission control] Liftoff.
I think Mars is an interesting planet
and it would be fascinating
to do science there.
[CAPCOM] We just had word from Houston
we're ready to have you get out
whenever you're ready.
[astronaut] OK, we've got our go now.
Is that right?
[CAPCOM] Affirmative.
[Josh] This is where people
are going to live, on another planet,
close enough to get there in under a year.
So yes, it's dangerous!
Yes, it's never been attempted.
Yes, you're probably gonna die.
But you can do it still.
[astronaut] How you doing,
Mission Control?
-[mission control] Good.
-[astronaut] Telcom? Guidance, happy?
-[astronaut] Final go!
[CAPCOM] 2,000 feet. 2,000 feet.
Into the air, 47 degrees.
[astronaut] Roger.
[Tim Urban]
Does anyone regret going to the Moon?
Does anyone who lived in the 60s say,
"What a waste of time,
I wish we hadn't done that."?
No. Going to the Moon was awesome.
Everyone's happy we went to the Moon!
Mars is even cooler.
[newscaster] Mariner is the spacecraft.
Mars is the destination.
[newscaster] Americans could once again
look up towards their future with faith
and with confidence.
We're focused on Mars.
That's NASA's ultimate goal.
To lead other nations,
and particularly ourselves,
with humans to Mars.
[newscaster] The retrograde rockets
will be tested in space.
The antenna housing
will transmit telemetry.
[Alyssa] Ever since I was little,
I've always had a passion for space.
It would be so amazing just to see
the Martian surface with my own eyes.
[mission control] T minus 25 seconds.
We will go to Mars.
Let's go out there and explore.
Let's make discoveries.
Let's change the world.
-[camper] Is this the PCS right here?
-[camper] OK, the L Cone...
A couple of things you need to know.
When the launch happens going to Mars,
what are we going to say to the press?
[camper] I mean, I'm sure Neil Armstrong
had a ton of time
to think what his first words would be.
I know what I would say.
What do we want?
[all] Oranges.
When do we want we want them? Oranges!
[instructor] Fantastic.
That's a great monologue.
However, we're going to transition
to practicing your checklists now.
Everybody has a checklist
that was either on their seat
or around their space.
It's under your suits.
It's what happens when you start
before the mission starts.
Coming to Space Camp
is the closest I can really get to space,
at least emotionally and psychologically.
7A on.
[instructor] Do you guys feel good?
[Josh] C auto.
Tank 9. Reset.
This is the suiting up process.
We'll transition over.
Grab the book. You got it?
[Josh] If people want to
call me a space nerd,
they can call me a space nerd.
And I'll say "Yeah, so what do you
want to know about space?
You want to know
about SRBs, egress, ECLSS?"
And they'll be like "What?"
And I'll be like "So, wait, which one
did you want to know about?
Cause I can give you at least five,
maybe ten minutes of conversation
for each one.
Come at me, bro!"
-Let me out of this.
-Come on, Josh!
Today, we were the first group ever
to test out this new Mars Mission.
This mission is a futuristic mission,
obviously, because we haven't
gone to Mars at this point.
This is MEB, the Mars Elysium Base.
And this base has been delivered
to Mars already
with all the gear that you guys
are gonna need to set it up, OK?
[Kyle] The Mars Mission is something
that they've had in R&D for a while.
It's exhilarating, the fact that
we are simulating a mission to Mars.
You got your guy out there. Pull it up.
[Zoe] We are training to go to Mars.
We know that there will be problems
because it is dangerous.
We need to have the simulator
as close to a nominal mission as possible.
[Raj] This is gonna be intense!
[excited chatter]
Space Camp was designed
to simulate the peak of NASA.
This is cool! Woah!
[Zoe] Here at Space Camp,
we learn a lot about space history
and what it will be like
to be an astronaut.
All of the simulators here,
NASA has been recruited to help design.
So, they're as close as we can get
to what the astronauts actually use.
[camper screams]
Oh my God!
[laughter and chatter]
This is my third year at Space Camp.
I said, "I'm going to
apply for a scholarship,"
because being an astronaut is
something I don't want to give up on.
I'm going up whether I want to or not!
I had to get three letters
of recommendation,
I had to write two essays,
and I had to do a science experiment
and break it down
in the scientific method.
[instructor] Oh! Good job, Victoria!
[Jace] I believe that
the people who come here
are the future of the space program.
It's really giving us an education
on how to be a person
who works with space on a daily basis.
When I grow up, I would like to be
-I want to become a mission specialist.
-Be a machine toolist.
I want to be an engineer.
Aerospace engineer.
It would be amazing to construct engines
for a mission to Mars.
When you enter the base
and turn on the emergency power,
it turns to red lighting.
[instructor] That's what we're wanting...
[Jace] The base that they've designed
up there is fascinating.
The base is all powered down.
They have to turn on
the communications array,
set up the solar panels,
set up all of the ECLSS systems,
and also set up a greenhouse
because somebody
might want to eat up there.
-[camper] Activate the power.
-Hey, guys. The hydro popo is in here.
The fact that people
are now even teaching children,
16 year-olds, 15 year-olds,
saying, "Hey, we're going to Mars"
and simulating how it would work out,
means they'll grow up and we'll grow up
to believe: hey, we're going to Mars.
So let's go to Mars.
[camper] I'll go there in a minute.
Well, good luck.
[male voiceover]
Of all the planets in the solar system,
Earth and Mars, the third and fourth
planets from the Sun,
are the most similar.
But despite the similarities,
Mars is essentially like no other planet.
[Jeffrey Kluger] One of the greatest
allures of Mars is that Mars is nearby.
Mars is a planet,
and it's a planet with potential.
It once had water. It once had oceans.
Surely, we tell ourselves,
it once had life.
[male voiceover] Science fiction writers
populated the cities
with terrible creatures of heroic size,
with skills beyond earthman's dreams.
[Kluger] This is a place that touches us
in a very basic way.
Another thing is that
it's always had the power
to scare the daylights out of us.
[laser fire]
[Kluger] It was always the blood red world
that was just nearby,
that, through telescopes,
appeared to have canals,
which presumed people
or some kind of organisms.
And since the only model we know
for intelligent organisms
is organisms that eventually try to
grab land and resources and go to war,
Mars used to frighten us.
[robot] Welcome to Mars.
[Bill Nye] There's a whole endless string
of movies and television shows and stories
about aliens, alien life.
Now, this is the plan:
get your ass to Mars.
[Urban] When people hear the word "Mars",
they think of science fiction,
of geeks talking about Martians and Mars.
And as soon as we go there
and there's humans there, that changes.
This is not science fiction.
This is now something we do.
This is part of life. This is real.
[Andy Weir] I had no idea that The Martian
would have mainstream appeal.
It never even occurred to me.
I thought I was writing it for this tiny
niche audience of hardcore space dorks.
[shouts for joy]
[Kluger] We fell in love with Mars
a long, long time ago
and our goal now is to be a part of Mars,
is to live on Mars.
[Urban] Doing something as hard
as going to Mars doesn't just happen.
You need like a perfect storm
in many ways.
You need the right moment
with the right funding,
with the right people or person.
[brass band plays celebratory music]
[cheering and applause]
[Nye] Wernher von Braun
is a famous German scientist
and he took these ideas
about how to operate liquid-fueled rockets
and he made these extraordinary spacecraft
that went on to put humans on the Moon.
[music and cheering continue]
[Charles Bolden] Wernher von Braun,
when he designed
and built the Apollo program,
in the back of his mind already,
he was way past Apollo.
He and his team were talking about:
how do we get to Mars?
[music and cheering continue]
We knew that the city of Huntsville
was solidly behind us,
and with your continued support
I will see you back in orbit
with that new space station,
to which we will all ride
in the reusable launch vehicle,
and maybe one day
we'll have a man on Mars.
Thank you.
Gather round while I sing you
Of Wernher von Braun
A man whose allegiance
Is ruled by expedience
Call him a Nazi
He won't even frown
says Wernher von Braun
[Annie Jacobsen] Von Braun was a Nazi.
Von Braun was in the SS,
which is the dreaded element
of the Nazi party.
And von Braun was
Hitler's top weapons maker.
[Kluger] From a man who held
a dark and hateful cause,
came a missile that gave America
one of its greatest
historical inspirations.
So Wernher von Braun is...a mixed bag.
[in German accent]
"Once the rockets are up
Who cares where they come down?"
That's not my department",
Says Wernher von Braun
-[camper] You tightened the valves?
-[camper] It works.
[Raj] Dude, wherever I cut one
I should cut the other, right?
[camper] Yeah.
[Raj] So what do you say?
One, two, three, four, five, six.
How about six runs up and six runs up?
So it's one, two, three four.
So it's the fourth one down.
If you could combine nerdy and cool,
I hope you could get something like me.
How's it going?
It's a little rough. The X-Acto knife
slipped twice, as you can see.
-Just got little duct tape bandages.
-Here, use better duct tape.
Yeah, that's a good point.
Nerdiness has kind of taken
a bad rap over the years.
And nerdy is the new cool.
But that doesn't mean you have to
start wearing Jordans or anything.
But I feel like the egg should be
standing up in the compartment, though.
-[camper] It will.
-Like standing vertically.
-[camper] I know.
-[Raj] All right, cool.
I'm hoping one day to run for office
and work my way up in Washington,
and ultimately get NASA
the funding it needs
to, you know, do these great things
like go to Mars.
We usually just, I think we should fold it
in a way that it will definitely deploy.
The model rockets
is a good challenge for the group.
Of course, rocketry is
directly connected with NASA.
[Josh] So the awesome thing
about rockets, I'd say,
is that they're handing explosives
and a whole bunch of, like,
firing power to teenagers.
And they're like,
"Here, go make it, go up into the air
and if it explodes, have fun with it."
So it's, like, yeah,
I'm definitely going to do this.
We're gonna have to find
a way for it to disconnect
while keeping the shot cord
inside of the body...
-Oh yeah, definitely.
[Victoria] I enjoy building rockets.
Later today we are launching our rocket
with our eggstronaut Egbert in it.
And it has been so much fun
just building it and tossing around ideas.
[project chatter]
Put the hot glue
on the edges of these and stick it down.
[Jace] The two things you're learning
from these model rockets
is crew survivability and aerodynamics.
Everything else is intact.
We just can't get this stuff tangled up.
As soon as this gets tangled,
we're kind of done.
-[Raj] Let's see how this drop goes.
-[camper] High check, science geeks.
[instructor] Very nice.
[Jace] You have to keep
your precious payload alive,
and you want it to pierce through the air
in a beautiful parabolic trajectory.
That fits there really well.
It's really important
that we see the big picture.
It's important that the whole system,
including our eggstronaut,
are safe and reliable.
[Raj] No, no, no.
That means we have 250 left.
-[Josh] And then we have 150--
-[Raj] 150 left.
[Josh] And then we just used 100
for the motor tube. So we would have 50.
[Raj] In our engineering challenges,
we're assigned a budget for what we do
and you can't overspend it.
And sometimes
you don't even have enough to begin with.
Dude, we made a mistake
for the first item.
This 150 is actually 200.
So then now we're left with 100.
The money is a big constriction
for humans in real life.
So, they decided to make it
a constriction for us, too.
How much money have we spent?
Jace, I'm gonna go
glue these together, OK?
They put a limit on it to say,
"Hey, we're not gonna give you
all the materials,
because if we did
you could do so much."
[Raj] So the way these rocket engines work
is it propels downwards.
When we deploy it,
the parachute's gonna unfurl
and it's gonna float down like this.
And our egg's gonna survive.
Good stuff, guys!
This was a productive session.
[chatter from other groups]
[Josh] Ballin' till we drop!
[rocket lifting off]
[Kluger] The V2 rocket was built
by Wernher von Braun
and his team of engineers.
It hits randomly.
You don't really know what you're hitting,
what you're killing,
what you're destroying.
That was what the V2 did.
The "V", for goodness' sake,
stood for "Vengeance".
It was the weapon that resulted
from a tantrum,
in this case the tantrum of the fhrer.
He wanted to lash back,
as all losing causes do.
They flail at the end.
[announcement music]
The President of the United States.
General Eisenhower informs me
that the forces of Germany
have surrendered to the United Nations.
The flags of freedom fly all over Europe.
[Jacobsen] At the end of World War II,
the Cold War had, in essence,
already begun.
It was clear to the Allies that
we could not coexist with the Soviets.
If we didn't get von Braun,
then the Soviets would.
We had to have him.
[Neil deGrasse Tyson] Oh my gosh!
How soon we forget
how evil the communist empire
was perceived to be
in that day and in that time.
And how much of a motivating factor
that was to do anything we could
to not be bested by our arch enemy.
[Bolden] Not a lot of Americans
know that we took a...a Nazi,
someone who helped designed rockets
that were intended to kill us,
relocated him and his team
eventually to Huntsville, Alabama,
where they became founding fathers
of the spaceflight program.
He became such a vocal figurehead
for space, for exploration,
for the red planet.
In the early to middle '50s,
von Braun became famous.
He began writing long magazine articles
about travel to the Moon and to Mars.
And he even signed a deal with Disney.
[von Braun with strong German accent] When
the day arrives for construction to begin,
the thousands of parts
for the space station
will be transported to the orbit
by our multistage rockets.
It's a real moment in American history
when 42 million Americans tune in
to watch von Braun talk
on a Disney television program
about space travel.
[von Braun] If we were to start today
on an organized
and well supported space program,
I believe a practical passenger rocket
could be built and tested within 10 years.
Today, a new moon is in the sky,
a 23 inch metal sphere
placed in orbit by a Russian rocket.
500 miles up, the artificial moon
is boosted
to a speed counterbalancing
the pull of gravity,
and released.
The whole applecart was overturned
when the Russians put Sputnik into orbit,
causing a national nervous breakdown
as a consequence.
The Soviets had Sputnik up in the sky
and you could hear the beeping going by.
The entire country
was in shock by Sputnik.
[beeping continues]
[Nye] Sputnik orbited the Earth
on what you would say in military terms
was the ultimate high ground of space!
[sustained dramatic note]
[newscaster] The reaction was
one of astonishment and concern.
For it was now known
that a potential enemy
was at least temporarily ahead
in developing means for space travel.
We were scared to death
when Sputnik went up.
And then we were scared to death
when the Russians
beat us to orbit with a human.
[Nye] It seemed at once that
this competitive style of government
was producing technology faster,
outstripping the United States.
And so, a civilian space agency
was formed,
and that's the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, NASA.
[dramatic music plays]
Welcome to
the Marshall Space Flight Center.
Our special task here in Huntsville
is to develop
the rocket powered systems necessary
to orbit man in an Earth satellite.
You might say
we are the long distance movers.
[Jacobsen] All effort was given
toward making sure
that America got into space pronto.
And that is where von Braun
began his ascent
as kind of the American space savior.
And from there, he became
the prophet of space exploration.
[cheering and applause]
For we meet
in an hour of change and challenge,
in a decade of hope and fear,
in an age of both knowledge and ignorance.
The greater our knowledge increases,
the greater our ignorance unfolds.
When you think of the Apollo program,
when you think of man on the Moon,
no doubt von Braun
is a huge piece of JFK's legacy.
[JFK] The vast stretches of the unknown,
and the unanswered,
and the unfinished,
still far outstrip
our collective comprehension.
To be the first person on Mars,
it would definitely put you up there
with those big names
that most people know about space.
Alan Shepard, Yuri Gagarin,
Neil Armstrong, and von Braun.
It would definitely come
with a bit of infamy.
[JFK] Surely the opening vistas of space
promise high costs and hardships,
as well as high reward.
So, it is not surprising
that some would have us
stay where we are a little longer,
to rest, to wait.
To be sure, we are behind,
and will be behind for some time,
in manned flight.
But we do not intend to stay behind,
and in this decade
we shall make up and move ahead.
[Todd May] Building something from scratch
is a double-edged sword.
You can't design
a perfect launch vehicle from scratch
and put it up on the pad
the very first time
and expect things are gonna go well.
This generation does not intend
to founder in the backwash
of the coming age of space.
We mean to be a part of it.
We mean to lead it.
Since NASA was formed in 1958,
we've had a pretty small
number of different missions
that we've undertaken.
The first program was the Mercury program,
just to see if an astronaut
could survive in zero gravity.
This is Flagship 7,
radio loud and clear. Over.
[Dr. Don Thomas]
We went on to the Gemini program,
sending two astronauts up in a capsule.
We learned how to do
rendezvous and docking.
And we learned how to
walk in space, to float there.
[astronaut] OK, yeah?
[Ed White speaks indistinctly]
[astronaut] You're right in front, Ed.
You look beautiful!
[White] I feel like a million dollars!
So I'm gonna kick off!
[Dr. Thomas] We put together everything
we learned from Mercury and Gemini
in the Apollo program.
[JFK] But why, some say, the Moon?
Why choose this as our goal?
And they may well ask,
why climb the highest mountain?
[mission control]
Liftoff! We have a liftoff!
[JFK] Many years ago,
the great British explorer George Mallory,
who was to die on Mount Everest,
was asked why did he want to climb it.
He said "Because it is there."
Well, space is there,
and we're going to climb it.
And the Moon and the planets are there.
And new hopes
for knowledge and peace are there!
Going to the Moon, many people
just considered outright impossible.
[astronaut] Four forward,
drifting to the right a little.
[radio blips]
[deGrasse Tyson]
Once the impossible becomes possible,
that opens the floodgates
of human imagination.
That's one small step for man,
one giant leap for mankind.
[JFK] We choose to go to the Moon!
We choose to go to the Moon!
[applause and cheering]
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade
and do the other things,
not because they are easy,
but because they are hard.
[Raj] We should probably check it,
cause last time we had a pretty bad angle.
Dude, come on, let's check it.
No, I just want to make sure ours
is positioned so we won't die again.
As a kid, I would love to witness
one of our presidents
challenge NASA to land on Mars
in a deadline that may seem impossible.
Because I feel like
few things motivate humans.
I mean the Soviets motivated us,
but that was out of fear.
I swear, if ours doesn't work
-I'm crying!
-Oh crap, dude!
Ours looks all bent up and everything.
What is he doing?
Dude, now look at it!
We're bent to the side now. Oh my god.
-[camper] It's going to go that way.
-[camper]...two, one...
[excited chatter]
-Please, please deploy!
-Do it, do it, do it!
[all] Yeah!
[celebratory music]
[cheering continues]
[all] Rub the orange!
Rub the orange! Rub the orange!
[all laughing and cheering]
[Raj] I think we should go to Mars because
we would learn so much along the way.
Forget about actually stepping on Mars.
I think the journey there
is far more important.
We're checking the payload
to see if it's still intact.
See any juice?
[camper] Oooh...
This chute idea might have saved us.
It's cracked.
No! I think we made it!
Oh my god, we made it!
[all celebrate] Whoa!
[Raj] Wow, that was so ratchet.
[Eugene Cernan] Bob, this is Gene
and I'm on the surface.
I'd like to just say,
what I believe history will record:
that America's challenge of today
has forged man's destiny of tomorrow.
As soon as the first landing on the Moon
seemed inevitable,
and certainly after it happened,
every single story
written about that success
included a secondary story
that said "So, what's next?"
[Cernan] And as we leave the Moon
at Taurus-Littrow,
we leave as we came
and, God willing, as we shall return:
with peace and hope for all mankind.
God speed the crew of Apollo 17.
[Jacobsen] In that moment, von Braun
reveals his true ambition as a scientist.
This is a great moment.
We've gotten to the Moon.
But actually it's a stepping stone
to the red planet, to Mars.
[Kluger] Wernher von Braun
talked about a Mars mission
and he talked about a possible presence,
permanent presence, on Mars by 1981.
That sounds insanely ambitious:
11 years to have a permanent presence
on two planets.
But the fact is,
it was equally hubristic to say
"And we're gonna put
a man on the Moon by 1969."
Except we did it.
So everything we were talking about doing
in extremely short order, by 1981,
getting people on Mars,
was actually perfectly consistent
with the extremely short order work
we had done to get to the Moon.
[Jacobsen] The plan to go to Mars
was complicated in the '60s
because the way von Braun saw it,
this was gonna be a symbol of the future.
But the way the public interpreted it
was entirely different.
Now, of course, there are many other
things competing for public interest.
There is an election coming up,
and there is a war going on in Vietnam,
and there are problems in the cities.
And quite a few people seem to believe
that we are taking money away
from the public purse.
We prefer to see our space program
in a somewhat different light.
We believe that
we are actually producing values,
and we are producing values
at a faster rate than we are
taking money out of the treasury.
[Kluger] Nixon had a choice
to continue the program to go on to Mars.
The infrastructure
for planetary exploration was in place.
The NASA personnel infrastructure
that had gotten us to the Moon
was prepared to get us to Mars.
Mr. Speaker,
the President of the United States!
[Nye] I gotta tell you, everybody,
this longing for the Apollo era
is not well advised.
It's not coming back.
We're operating now
not under the Kennedy doctrine,
but under the Nixon doctrine.
In reaching the Moon,
we demonstrated
what miracles American technology
is capable of achieving.
And now the time has come
to move more deliberately
toward making full use of that technology
here on Earth.
[Nye] President Nixon and his advisors
felt that U.S. public interest
in space exploration had waned.
It was a very expensive undertaking.
Let's do something else.
[theme tune plays]
[newscaster] Sunday, April 12, 1981.
Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The Space Shuttle.
Fourteen stories high, 2,000 tons,
poised on the pad for its maiden flight.
[Kluger] Nixon's goal was to contract
America's space footprint.
To make getting to and from orbit
routine, affordable,
and ultimately profitable.
But the Nixon doctrine,
the idea of monetizing
and simplifying access to orbit,
did not work.
[mission control] ...two, one,
starting motor ignition and liftoff!
Liftoff of Columbia!
The shuttle has cleared the tower.
Columbia, you're negative seats.
And liftoff.
Liftoff of the orbiter Challenger and
the sixth flight of the Space Shuttle.
[Kluger] What's been happening at NASA
has been a very long term drift
in terms of the manned space program.
After we went to the Moon,
it was the carousel of shuttle flights
around the Earth for 30-some years.
That was it.
[mission control]
We have ignition and liftoff
of Atlantis and the Galileo spacecraft
bound for Jupiter.
[CAPCOM] Roger roll, Atlantis.
[Dr. Kaku] The Space Shuttle
can't reach deep space.
The Space Shuttle was only designed
to go whizzing around the planet Earth.
And so we began to realize
that NASA lost its way.
And liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery
to complete NASA's constellation
of tracking stations in the sky.
[Raj] I understand things
are being done by NASA right now.
But I feel like after the '60s,
the acceleration of the program
just declined to a sad point.
[mission control] And liftoff
of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
[CAPCOM] Roger roll, Endeavour.
[deGrasse Tyson] We are no longer
advancing a space frontier.
A space frontier is:
how far have you gone lately?
Where are our farthest astronauts?
They're 250 miles above our head,
driving around the block,
boldly going
where hundreds have gone before.
That is not advancing space frontiers.
[Urban] Low Earth orbit is about putting
stuff in space to look back down on Earth.
It's about support for Earth industries.
The Space Shuttle
sounds like this big exciting thing.
The Space Shuttle! We're exploring!
But actually what the Space Shuttle was
was kind of a cargo delivery vehicle.
It would bring astronauts and equipment,
back and forth from low Earth orbit.
[Kluger] The Shuttle drained
NASA's resources.
It was a financial sinkhole, essentially,
from 1975 up through 2011.
Any dreams of going to Mars
during the Shuttle era were impossible
because all of the money
was going to the Shuttle.
[Josh] NASA is kind of at a holdup.
We haven't gone places.
So don't go to space.
But what you can send to Mars
are non-humans and non-living things,
like robots.
[instructor] Before you leave this table,
I need you to figure out what
your robot's primary task is going to be.
You can't just send all of them in there
and have all four of them
try and do the same task.
That's not going to be productive.
[Aurora] All right, guys,
we got everything up here, so...
Is that everything?
-[Aurora] Yes, it is.
-Can we get a picture?
[Jace] We do robotics at Space Camp
because robotics is
a huge part of the space program.
Exploration done today
isn't done by humans.
It's done by robots.
[Kluger] NASA's unmanned
exploration of the solar system
is the great unappreciated crown jewel
of the space agency.
[newscaster] It began here at
the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
Viking 1 and Viking 2 were readied
for their separate journeys to Mars.
[Patrick] A robot is important
for forerunner exploration,
where we send a robot first.
It lets us know
it's OK for us to go there.
The planet Mars right now
is entirely populated by robots,
which is an interesting thing
to think about.
[Bobak Ferdowsi] Curiosity's designed
specifically to look at
past habitability
and present habitability of Mars.
That's really taking the step of where
we understood there was once water on Mars
to whether that water
could have supported life on Mars,
or maybe even still support life on Mars.
[mission control]
And liftoff of the Atlas 5 with Curiosity,
seeking clues to the planetary puzzle
about life on Mars.
[Ferdowsi] The thing that makes
Mars so incredible
is that it's this sister planet of ours,
and the possibility that life could have
arisen there some time in the past,
that maybe life is more prevalent
than we thought in the past.
[mission control] At 10.13 local time
we'll initiate
the descent stage thermal batteries,
and from that point on
EDL ops will take over.
[Ferdowsi] I'm a little partial
to the Curiosity rover.
[mission control]
We're down to 90 meters per second
at an altitude of 6.5 kilometers
and descending.
I worked on that mission
for almost 10 years.
[mission control] UHF is good.
Touchdown confirmed.
We're safe on Mars!
[mission control whoops via radio]
[Ferdowsi] I think the longer you spend
working on them,
the more attached you are to them.
They become kind of like kids.
We are going to need a button pusher.
-I can do that.
Jace, just a heads up,
that's priority numero uno!
Jace is a good programmer.
We can't afford not to--
-Jace, are you programming right now?
With these robots, you have to learn
how to program them to work
without a human being at the controls.
Can Bucky hold
one side of the yellow doors?
Which side do you want?
I can program for both.
Jace is so good at programming.
He just went right to it!
He's got a ton of patience
when it comes to testing that robot.
A lot of times in retrieval,
the things are
in a very specific place every time.
So we can make a rough program,
go out, figure out what happened wrong...
...then just make it more and more
and more and more precise
so we can perfectly execute that
when the mission comes.
Activate COMS.
Right now I'm learning
how to code in Python.
I'm new to it. I'll admit,
I can't make something really complicated.
I can make a game of Pong work!
That's about it.
But I'm learning.
A little nervous. It should work.
I programmed it for a long time.
[Ferdowsi] With Curiosity,
what was amazing
was that the first drill hole we drilled
we found evidence of past water on Mars
and that that water
was kind of relatively fresh
and could have supported certain types
of life as we know them on Earth.
The next questions are really
of whether life could exist on Mars.
Future missions can go
and actually look for evidence of life.
And maybe the best way to do that
is with humans,
where they can bring samples back,
like the Apollo missions did.
[Kluger] When we put a robot on Mars
and we give it a name called "Curiosity",
and we have it send down automatic Tweets,
and we love it and we call it names
like "plucky" and "tough".
[Raj] We're on the ground.
Just don't move yet!
We gotta wait for Jace.
[all] Five, four, three, two, one!
[instructor] Begin!
[general chatter]
[Kluger] We humanize robots
because it's the next best thing.
But in the case of explorers
on other planets,
humanizing, anthropomorphizing
our machines
are because we don't have
real people to get there.
[cries of disappointment]
[Raj] All right, lost a wheel.
[Ferdowsi] Humans can do in a day
what it takes a robot months
or sometimes years to accomplish.
Curiosity's been on the surface
for a little more than three years now,
and we guess that a human could do that
within a week.
All the science that we've done
so far in that three years,
a human could walk around, chisel rocks,
look at them, investigate them.
Don't move that. Don't move that.
Patrick, don't move it!
Patrick, don't move it!
I can get it.
Just kind of disappointed that our bot
didn't function how we wanted it to.
It was only able to complete
two or three tasks,
rather than the about six
that we had planned for.
[camper] Oh no!
[camper] It's broken. Oh no!
[deGrasse Tyson] I've yet to see
a ticker tape parade for robots.
Or a high school named after a robot.
So, there's the vicarious value
that one of us experiences that
and comes back to talk about it.
You can touch that person.
And that person carried out
the dreams of a civilization.
-[camper] No!
-[Raj] Yo, man. Just keep going!
-[camper] Ten seconds!
-[instructor] Nine, eight, seven, six...
[all] ...five, four, three, two, one...
-[instructor] Stop all your robots!
[Jace] Programming error.
Bot didn't function properly
as how it was intended to.
It didn't perform
as it did during testing.
It was really kind of down to me,
and I kind of failed at the last second.
[Josh] The best thing about Mars
and why everybody wants to go to Mars
is because we have rovers there.
We have machines, examples,
everything from it that says,
"Hey come, come to Mars, come to Mars."
[general chatter]
[camper] Can this be one of our layers?
[instructor] Yeah! You can use that
as one of your layers!
[Josh] OK, we're naming it
Neil Applestrong.
Applenaut training, so that's where
we have an astronaut that's a green apple
and we make a space suit for it.
[Jace] A really good way
to look at a space suit
is it has to keep you alive
with oxygen and pressure.
So a one-minute test.
When it comes out
you're gonna blot it dry.
We'll walk over to the hot box.
Go. Down, down, down.
When it comes to space, I know a lot.
[instructor] Stop! Hold them up.
Oh, no!
This is unfortunate.
-[Jace] I think there's water inside.
[Josh] People living in space for a year
now, that's huge for me. I love it.
And it's like, whoa! I want to
live in space for five years now!
[Abby] To apply to become an astronaut,
all you have to do
is go to the NASA website
and you'll find a PDF that you can
download, fill out, send back in.
The basic requirements to be an astronaut
are not actually
that difficult to achieve.
You need to have a four-year degree
in a related field of STEM:
Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math.
You need to have things
such as general good health,
reasonably good eyesight,
hearing, those types of things.
But it's when you look at
the requirements that aren't stated
that things become more difficult.
[Dr. Bob Behnken]
The original group of seven folks,
they were all military background
when they came into the office.
But of course the mission
of actually going on to Mars
really requires
a wide range of experiences,
and so that includes medical doctors,
it includes scientists,
pretty much everything under the sun.
I think I get smarter as I get older!
My time here as an astronaut
and my ability
to have gone to space two times
has helped taken some baby steps
to take that next generation
of space explorers even further.
[Dr. Thomas]
I'm way too old to go to Mars.
25, 30 years from now,
I'm gonna be 85, 90 years-old.
No way is NASA sending me to Mars.
[Dr. Kaku] The Mars Generation,
is the generation of today.
It's in their DNA to become
the astronauts, to explore the red planet.
[Abby] Ever since I was a little kid,
I've wanted to be an astronaut.
Going to Mars is definitely something that
would help NASA to draw public interest
and to reignite
that fire we have for space travel.
[Ian] We were born
at exactly the right time.
We will be in our early 30s around the
time we are predicted to set foot on Mars.
And Neil Armstrong was only 38
when he set foot on the Moon.
[Alyssa] The age you should really
start focusing more
and becoming really serious
about becoming an astronaut
is for me,
would probably be now,
so around 14.
Mainly because I'm starting to get
those certifications that I'll need
in the future,
such as SCUBA diving certification,
pilot's license
and sky diving certification.
[Rachel] When I got into space heavily,
I was probably about 13.
If I had the chance to go to Mars,
I would absolutely take it.
Like, I wouldn't even think about it.
[Zoe] I love space. I want to be
an astronaut one day.
If I died on Mars,
it would be sad, obviously.
But at least I would have died
achieving my lifelong dream!
[Kluger] It takes
a certain kind of person.
Most of us aren't those people.
We are fortunate, we've always been
fortunate as a species,
that there are people like that.
[Dr. Kaku] We have to be honest
with the young generation of astronauts.
And that is, yes, there are dangers,
dangers that can be quantified,
but nonetheless dangers that will involve
perhaps injury, perhaps even death.
[instructor] All pilots learn how to
escape from a crashed helicopter.
Because if you crash,
what's gonna come save you?
A helicopter.
What rescued the Apollo
and, before, astronauts out of the ocean?
-[camper] A helicopter.
-[instructor] A helicopter.
When you go in, you'll receive a number,
like you were told before:
one, two, three, four, five, six.
You will exit in the reverse order:
six, five, four, three, two, one.
There's only one place that you will exit.
[Jace] We do water survival
so that we can learn what to do
if something goes horribly wrong.
[instructor] We're going down!
[Jace] If something happens and the hatch
blows off of our spacecraft,
it starts flooding,
you have to learn how to get out
and get out fast.
Thank you, Instructor!
[Josh] If you're in a dangerous situation
where you're inside of a metal cage
and it starts filling up with water,
you better know how to swim
and you better know how to get out.
Because you're gonna die.
Metal doesn't float.
-[instructor] Everybody out!
-[Josh] Six out! Five, go!
You have to rely on your team to swim out
before it goes all the way under.
And it's all about
getting people to work together.
Because nobody can
go to space alone on their own.
Nobody has so far,
and I don't believe anybody will.
-You all ready for this?
-[Raj] Yeah, I'm pumped.
I would definitely be willing to die
to go to Mars.
My life is worth all the things that the
human race as a whole gain from that.
[Senator Bill Nelson]
When we went to the Moon,
we lost three astronauts
before we ever got off the ground
in the Apollo 1 fire on the pad.
[newscaster] It was all over
in one stunned, horrifying second.
An electrical spark apparently shot out
and ignited the 100% oxygen in the cabin
that they were breathing,
as in a real spaceflight.
The crewmen never had a chance.
[Senator Nelson]
Now we come into the Space Shuttle,
and it's supposed to be routine.
And it's supposed to be this low incident.
Well, it almost happened to us
on the 24th flight.
Four scrubs, any one of which,
had we launched,
it would have not been a good day.
But then it happened to the 25th flight.
[mission control]
Three, two, one, and liftoff.
Liftoff of the 25th Space Shuttle mission
and it has cleared the tower.
[newscaster] So the 25th Space Shuttle
mission is now on the way,
after more delays
than NASA cares to count.
This morning it looked as though
they were not going to be able to get off.
[mission control] 1 minute 15 seconds,
velocity 2,900 feet per second.
Altitude 9 nautical miles,
downrange just at 7 nautical miles.
[Ronald Reagan] I want to say something
to the school children of America
who were watching the live coverage
of the Shuttle's takeoff.
I know it's hard to understand,
but sometimes
painful things like this happen.
It's all part of the process
of exploration and discovery.
It's all part of taking a chance
and expanding man's horizons.
The future doesn't belong
to the fainthearted.
It belongs to the brave.
[newscaster] What we're seeing here
is very ominous indeed.
These are pictures which tell the story
that is clearly the Shuttle breaking up.
[Kluger] Somebody once asked me,
"Is it possible to write an article
on three ways to make the Shuttle safer?"
And my answer is
"Yes, I can write it right now.
Don't fly Discovery,
don't fly Atlantis, don't fly Endeavour.
Problem solved."
But we flew.
We lost no more people
and the program ended in
something close to triumph.
But 14 people died.
[mission control]
All three engines up and working.
Two, one, zero. And liftoff!
The final liftoff of Atlantis.
On the shoulders of the Space Shuttle.
America will continue the dream.
[Dr. Behnken] I really feel that it's
a part of each of our legacies
to carry on that piece that those
astronauts that we lost started.
Their legacy is
that we can continue the journey.
If we don't, we won't be able
to continue to evolve our presence
in low Earth orbit and on to Mars.
[mission control] The Space Shuttle
spreads its wings one final time
for the start of a sentimental journey
into history.
[Dr. Thomas] One of the big ideas
for why to retire the Shuttle
became this idea of going to Mars.
Let's leave low Earth orbit
and let's start going out further
to explore Mars.
[astronaut] Hello!
This is the International Space Station!
Well this is President Obama.
Who am I talking to?
Hello, Mr. President!
You're talking to the increment 28 crew
and the crew
of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
[Obama] Well, this mission marks the
final flight of the Space Shuttle program.
It also ushers in an exciting new era
to push the frontiers of space exploration
and human space flight beyond Earth,
and ultimately sending humans to Mars.
One of the reasons
that the Space Shuttle had to be retired
is that it was so expensive to operate
that we couldn't afford to invest
in the development of its successor.
That's why we've actually had a gap.
[mission control] Having fired
the imagination of a generation,
a ship like no other,
its place in history secured,
the Space Shuttle pulls into port
for the last time.
[deGrasse Tyson] When the Gemini program
ended, no one shed a tear
because the mighty Saturn 5 rocket
was sitting in an adjacent launch pad
ready to continue that mission,
and we knew that was going to the Moon.
When people shed a tear
for the last Shuttle landing,
I accuse them of shedding a tear
not because they'd miss the Shuttle,
but because there was not a next spaceship
to continue this adventure
that we could all then turn to and say,
"Mothball the Shuttle,
we're going to the next suite
of launch vehicles."
There was nothing there,
it was an empty launch pad.
[Russian choral music]
[cameras click]
[deGrasse Tyson] I'm a little embarrassed
that to get into space
we gotta hitch a ride with the Russians.
We're not even hitching a ride,
we're buying the seats on the Soyuz vessel
to get to and from the International
Space Station that we built.
So it's a little embarrassing!
I'll be honest with you.
[cheering applause]
[Dr. Kaku] Who'd have thought
that with all the intense rivalry
with the Russians to go to the Moon
that we would be dependent upon
hitching a ride on the Soyuz spacecraft?
Let's say there's a crisis that erupts
some place on the planet Earth
and all of a sudden we're in this awkward
situation of being beholden to them
for access to outer space.
Perhaps that's not such a good policy.
[Dr. John P. Holdren] It's been costly to
buy seats on the Soyuz from the Russians.
We don't like being absolutely dependent
on one other country
for anything as important as being able
to get our astronauts into space.
I think the idea that we have to pay
Russia $70 million
to send astronauts, our astronauts,
American astronauts, to the ISS
is absolutely ridiculous.
[Senator Nelson] If you talk to
the average person on the street,
they think the space program is over.
They associate our space program
with Americans flying on American rockets.
Not flying on the Soyuz
that we fly on right now.
[mission control] Liftoff.
Liftoff of the Soyuz TMA-05M
carrying Suni Williams,
Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide
on a two-day journey
to the International Space Station.
[Kyle] The reason why we put
the International Space Station
up there in the first place
is so that we could start doing
long-term experiments
on how a human
will be able to survive in space.
Because the journey to Mars
is going to take a long time.
You ready?
-[camper] Yeah, go for it.
-Two, three, four...
All right, so when an astronaut
goes into space,
their body has a hard time
adjusting to the fact
that now everything in their stomach
is floating around.
The fluid in their ears is floating around
and that's how we sense motion.
...twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen.
[Kyle] Your ears are telling you
that you're moving, you know,
you're not standing still.
But your eyes are telling you different,
and astronauts have gotten sick from this.
[all] ...41, 42, 43, 44, 45.
Take off the blindfold.
-[Kyle] You feel super disoriented, right?
-I'm still spinning!
[Alyssa] Space, in general,
is a very dangerous place to go.
Space wasn't really meant
for humans to kind of be in.
Hello! I'm Suni Williams.
I'm up here
on the International Space Station.
All right, come on back.
There's more to show you.
One of the things we do is we exercise.
We have some exercise equipment
onboard the Space Station.
[Dr. Thomas] A lot of our research up on
the International Space Station right now
is looking at ways to minimize
muscle loss, to minimize bone loss,
to minimize the effects
of radiation on the astronauts.
And why do we do this today?
It's all in regard to
these future missions going to Mars.
[Suni Williams] You might have noticed
a little moon on the outside.
This is our orbital outhouse right here.
It serves for two functions.
And, of course, you do have your privacy.
There's a little door.
One of the really important things about
living and working in space long term
is to learn how to recycle
all the things you need,
rather than bring them up
from the Earth.
[Marisa] Some of the obstacles that
we face heading to Mars is we need water.
Water is a major resource.
Right now, we're working
with the ECLSS system
where we can turn
our own urine into water.
-[camper] Oh, lost volume, OK I got you.
-[camper] We lost like a few milligrams.
[general chatter]
The thing is, if we were to use the cotton
we would lose so much.
[Zoe] ECLSS is the Environmental
Control and Life Support System.
It is the way that astronauts breathe
and it purifies the water
on the ISS for them.
It's still at 100.
Where's ammonia?
-Yeah, ammo chips.
Mars is the next place
that we should explore,
because we've already been to the Moon
and Mars just seems like the next step.
I want to test the pasta cause
it could absorb some of the color.
[camper] That's what I'm thinking.
[Zoe] Mars has so many cool things.
Like it has water and the possibility
of old extraterrestrial life
that doesn't exist there anymore.
So it would be great to see if we could
find some answers to all of that.
-I think maybe gravel and then charcoal.
-And then ammonia and then sand.
Oh look at, look at
the color in this itself.
It doesn't actually retain
any of the water.
Right now we're filtering water.
So we have this terrible mix of water.
It's got like a pH of three.
It's not even water.
It's just like poison.
They hinted that we are going to
take this water, make our own filters,
and then drink it,
and hopefully
it's not terrible and kills us.
That'd be very much appreciated
if we don't die from it.
Water used to be delivered
in water-filled bags like this one.
But since 2010, we got a system onboard
that can purify the water real time.
We have filters
and a keg-size distiller
that, with it, we can recycle about
6,000 liters of extra water each year.
[Raj] Right now,
we're holding acidic water.
And our hopes are
that lima beans are basic
and will counteract
the acidity in this disgusting mess.
We're running it through
the lima beans three times,
and then we're gonna
test the pH afterwards.
By some miracle, the water will be
slightly more basic than we started out.
I actually care a lot about this.
I feel like clean water
is probably the most important thing ever.
Just because, at least here on Earth,
we still have over a billion people
who don't have access to clean water.
I want to say four.
That's a solid acidic of four.
We can accomplish
so much in such little time,
like landing on the Moon.
People need to understand going to Mars,
it's gonna be an expensive mission.
But the technologies
that we'll develop from that itself
will pay off all that cost
because it'll pump new technologies
and more industries into our economy.
[Abby] Most people don't realize how much
NASA has done for us and for our society.
When you look at
the lives that we live right now,
they wouldn't be possible without NASA.
[Senator Nelson] CAT scans, MRIs,
the small cameras in our iPhones.
All of this has originated
in our U.S. space program.
[Patrick] The Apollo program alone
was the reason computers
took the advances to where they are.
So if we go to Mars,
I'm sure we're gonna get tech advances
in ways that we can't even fathom.
One of the things Mars can offer us
is growth and stimulation of the economy.
[Rachel] People say "Oh, what is
the space program really doing for us?
We spend all these tax dollars
into NASA. What does it give us?"
Space travel has one of
the highest rates of return on money
that we put into it.
[Dr. Kaku] The space program
has more than paid for itself.
Telecommunications, the internet,
weather satellites,
all of it done in outer space.
In fact, if you shut down
the space program,
we would be hurled back
almost a century into the past.
Everybody in space, please listen up.
Whenever we approach
whatever that payload is,
we need to be wearing protective gear.
Make it very clear
we will wear protective gear
in the search for the payload.
I think we should go to Mars
because we can.
We can do all these things.
And it's just, I feel like
it's kind of sad that we haven't already.
Because we have developed
technologies to do things like this.
We definitely have the intelligence.
The biggest thing we're missing
is public support.
I'm gonna write down
some information for you.
If they have to do an ISS reboot...
Get a piece of paper ready.
I know people who think
that NASA was mothballed.
NASA doesn't exist anymore.
NASA's out of business.
That, in and of itself, is sad.
I think right now we should be monitoring,
cabin pressure, O2, that kind of stuff.
And I'm gonna be needing to do
med checks soon, just to see.
All right. And use all the computers
to monitor vital systems.
[Rachel] Space is always there.
Space is a constant presence.
When people ask me,
"Isn't that not really a thing anymore?
We don't go to space anymore."
I'm always taken aback.
It makes me feel like people
are losing touch with their human spirit.
Is there any information of what this
confidential payload may look like?
The information we have
is that it's experimental.
It can pretty much go anywhere,
do anything.
It is not contained and it is dangerous.
You need to protect yourselves
and be very careful.
We're on the look.
We don't have a shuttle.
We don't have any way to get to space
ourselves right now.
But I do believe that
the U.S. space system, it's still a force.
[Obama] I know there have been
a number of questions raised
about my administration's plan
for space exploration,
and these questions come
at a time of transition.
And in order to reach the Space Station,
we will work with
a growing array of private companies
competing to make getting to space
easier and more affordable.
[Bolden] The next President of the U.S.,
they will have two American companies,
Boeing and SpaceX,
that will launch from the space coast
carrying the first-ever
commercial crew vehicles
that are gonna carry Americans
to the International Space Station.
By buying the services
of space transportation,
rather than the vehicles themselves,
we can accelerate the pace of innovations,
as companies, from young startups
to established leaders,
compete to design and build and launch
new means of carrying people
and materials out of our atmosphere.
[Bolden] We cannot do
deep space exploration,
particularly with humans,
without these partnerships.
They're carrying our astronauts
to the International Space Station.
And all of this is in preparation for,
or as a part, of the journey to Mars.
We expect new spacecraft
designed for long journeys
to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed
missions beyond the Moon into deep space.
Because exploration will once more
inspire wonder in a new generation.
[Josh] The SLS Space Launch System
is a new way for people to get to space.
There's a lot more of space to explore,
and a lot more to learn when we do.
The Space Launch System
is the new rocket for the agency.
It can take us to Mars.
It can take us to deep space.
[Bolden] We're gonna have the largest,
most powerful rocket ever known to man.
I don't think there is
another vehicle on the drawing board
that matches the capability that SLS has.
[Alyssa] The way NASA
is planning on getting to Mars
is using the SLS
Space Launch System rocket.
The SLS crew compartment will go to space.
And then the Orion capsule,
which will be on top,
will separate and start heading
towards the trajectory of Mars.
[Heather McKay]
When you look at the Orion crew module,
you notice that it looks like
the shape of the Apollo capsule.
But the reason that shape is used
is because the physics haven't changed.
We're going to Mars.
It'll be in the decade of the 2030s.
And we're building the systems,
the hardware, that will get us there.
[Obama] By the mid 2030s,
I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars
and return them safely to Earth.
And a landing on Mars will follow.
And I expect to be around to see it.
[instructor] Let's have one person
from each engineering team
come and get your tray.
Right now, NASA is working
on the Orion capsule
which is going to take us to Mars.
Two things of aluminum foil,
a cork, and some spackle.
OK, so this is how thick we have.
Can I take this for a minute?
We'll come back to that when we spackle.
-Yeah. Do we just spackle it right here?
-[camper] Is that everything we have?
[camper] That's everything.
[Victoria] People have been talking
about going to Mars
pretty much since we landed on the Moon
and discovered that Mars
is another solid surface.
-Thanks. OK. Great.
-Build this thing, baby!
A little color. Liven it up!
Ablative shielding is a very basic
demonstration of thermodynamics.
Do you want to go get it?
-I got it!
-OK. Have fun.
The pasta actually works pretty well.
And I'm not sure why.
[Jace] There are different materials
that work in different ways,
things that you'd never even think of.
Who thinks of using a sponge
to stop a 3,500 degree Fahrenheit flame
from burning through a spaceship?
Who thinks of that?
I feel like this is very sturdy.
[Victoria] On Orion you're going to Mars,
so not only are you entering and exiting
the atmosphere in the Earth,
but you're also entering and exiting
the atmosphere on Mars.
So it's twice as important
that you have it
because you need to be safe!
I feel like NASA's gonna call us...
-...after this.
-[Victoria] Future rocket scientists.
[Mark Kirasich]
The reason the heat shield is so important
is because when you go to Mars
the heat generated is very intense.
So, a lot of care
goes into the heat shield.
[McKay] The heat shield
gets almost 4,000 degrees,
as it ablates all of that energy.
Yet inside the crew module
it's room temperature.
It's just like in here.
I think we're feeling pretty confident.
Ours is destined to survive.
Failure is not an option for us.
[camper] Hey, I believe in it.
-So far so good!
-That's how good ours is!
-Propane's afraid to start.
-Yeah, really!
My team this year is really amazing.
I could not have asked
to be put with a better group of kids.
The vast commonology of space
does bring us together.
Oh, man.
-Ooh, it's very concentrated!
-[camper] It's cooking.
Look at that heat dispersion. See that?
[all chat at once]
I'm seeing some smoke!
At school I do sometimes feel like
the odd man out,
because I'm very much into space.
Come on, come on...
-We're hitting steel.
I was bullied since third grade,
and that has definitely taken a toll.
Don't jinx it!
[camper] The foil is starting to come out,
like the heat.
One time, we were doing
an experiment in science class
and my partner picked me because
she said apparently I looked smart.
I wound up doing all the work.
-[camper] Oh, that's not good.
-That's not good.
When I would ask her about something,
she would just be like,
"Don't fail me and I'll be fine."
[murmurs of uncertainty]
No. That's how much we've gone.
-I was like--
-It's only been 46?! Wow!
-[Victoria] Wow!
But then I come here
and I just meet these people
and it's like you can just be yourself
and be goofy and be funny,
while still learning about space.
[Ferdowsi] I am definitely a space nerd.
It's just this weird love and excitement
and, you know, geeking out about
certain details of space exploration.
You know, being impressed
and excited by it.
I think that's what
being a space nerd means to me.
It's a real honor
to be recognized by your peers.
And, honestly, to be recognized
by this group of people
and the entire Space Camp community
is... It's pretty awesome.
So I went to Space Camp
in the summer of 1995
and it was, you know,
definitely a life changing experience.
So I'll begin with a story.
I had my first kiss at Space Camp.
One of the amazing things about Space Camp
was finding all these other space nerds,
finding my, you know,
my group, my people.
Honestly, you know, like so many things,
being here helped open the path for me
to do things that I really wanted to do,
to be, you know, the engineer
that I am today,
to work with the amazing team of people
that I get to work with.
To have this community is great,
and so thank you so much.
And to that girl that I kissed,
I'm a lot better kisser
and engineer nowadays, so thank you.
[laughter and applause]
[campers] Eight, seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one!
[camper] Parachutes deploy! Reentry!
-We didn't land in the swamp!
-[camper] Wait
He's alive!
-Whoo! Way to go, Egbert!
-Did it burn through the shield?
-Are they going to crack it to see?
-It didn't even burn through the shield.
Pretty cool to the touch.
-[camper] The yolk even survived!
-[instructor] Yes, you're good. Good job.
[all cheer]
-All right!
-What layer did it get through?
-High fives all around.
-High fives all around!
[camper] Where was your...
what was your second layer?
[Victoria] The coolest thing about space?
I don't exactly know.
It's really hard to say
the coolest thing about space.
One of my favorite things to do
is sometimes when I'm out late at night,
is to look up at the night sky
and try to find the little red planet
in the sky if I can.
[Dr. Kaku] When I look at Mars,
in some sense I see our future.
Because it's practically a law of physics
that one day the Earth will no longer
be able to sustain life as we know it.
The Earth is not a safe place.
On a scale of millions of years,
there could be a killer asteroid.
And just remember, the dinosaurs
did not have a space program.
On a scale of thousands of years,
there could be another ice age,
another ice age that will force humanity
to live, perhaps, deep underground,
or even leave the Earth itself.
[Urban] Our entire species
is contained to Earth.
If something happens to Earth...
Poof, we're gone.
Think about what that means.
That means all music is gone.
All laughter is forever gone.
Shakespeare's gone. Mozart's gone.
Basketball's gone.
Everything that has to do with humanity
is just gone forever. That's it.
[Weir] We as a species
need to live on multiple planets.
As it sits, we're all on one planet.
There could be a war.
There could be a plague.
It is possible for humanity
to be wiped out.
[Dr. Kaku] On a scale of decades,
we also have climate change.
If you take a look at all the signs,
all the signs point up,
in terms of temperature.
[Nye] Our space assets
monitor carbon dioxide,
they monitor the thickness of glaciers.
And we can see that humankind
is changing the climate.
[Kyle] We're not dumping a lot
into alternative energy.
We're cutting down rainforests,
we're using up a lot of natural habitats.
A lot of problems
with climate change are alarming
because we're finding
these things are not reversible.
So, by exploring space,
we can either find somewhere to go,
or we can develop technologies
that will help us repair
what damage we've done.
[mission control]
T minus ten, nine, eight, seven,
six, five, four,
three, two, one.
It's not clear
that the Space Launch System
is still on schedule and still on budget,
and this is a concern for everybody.
The SLS, it's an interesting machine,
to say the least.
Almost all of its technologies
are derived from the Space Shuttle.
Its engine's the RS25,
the same engine that we were running
for 30 years on the Space Shuttle.
I'm a little bit disappointed that no
new technology really went into making it.
[Kluger] The SLS can get us to Mars.
The SLS most assuredly can get us to Mars.
But the problem with the SLS,
the Space Launch System,
the 21st century Saturn 5
and Orion,
which is the 21st century Apollo program,
is that there simply isn't the money
to get them built and tested and flying
in any kind of near term timeframe.
[deGrasse Tyson] NASA can say
that Mars is in our portfolio.
We're gonna send astronauts there
in the 2030s.
OK, show me the money.
Talk is cheap.
So we can talk about going to Mars,
but until I see the launch pad with
the spaceship equipped to accomplish that,
I'm not gonna run around saying
"Yeah, we are the Mars people."
No we're not. Not until that happens.
[Donald Trump] Go ahead.
In my industry one of our biggest
victories was putting a man on the Moon.
-What do you think about humans on Mars?
Honestly, I think it's wonderful.
I want to rebuild
our infrastructure first, OK?
I think it's wonderful.
[cheering and applause]
Go ahead.
NASA's not in charge,
it's at the whim of government.
So every time
there's a change in presidents,
there's a lot of changes at NASA,
[reporters all ask questions]
Thank you, everybody!
We're not, we are not going to be
taking any questions.
Thank you, guys!
[Patrick] We are building the SLS,
but at the rate we're going right now,
it won't be done until I'm like 40 or 50.
They keep saying my generation
is the Mars Generation,
but we're not at this rate.
We could be if we gave them the same
support we showed the Apollo program.
[Nye] During the Apollo era, everybody,
NASA was funded
at 4% of the federal budget.
Today, it's 0.4%,
almost exactly a tenth of what it was
during the Apollo era.
And that's not gonna change.
That's the way it is right now.
[Urban] NASA is handcuffed
to the U.S. budget.
The U.S. budget has a thousand claws on it
trying to get the money.
For NASA to innovate, for NASA to do
amazing things that it would like to do,
it needs an insane budget.
It needs a far different budget
than the other kind of agencies.
[Jace] NASA, all of the money
they have ever received
from the government combined,
is still less
than the yearly budget of the D.O.D.
Which is kind of appalling to me.
[Urban] SLS and Orion are cool.
I mean, if you like rockets,
they're gonna be awesome.
They're gonna have
immense amount of thrust.
But they haven't done
the important innovation,
which is that they're still
super crazy expensive.
If every time you flew in an airplane,
you landed, the passengers got out,
and the plane was thrown away
cause planes flew once,
well, it would cost a million
and a half dollars for a coach seat.
No one would fly.
It would be a zero industry.
It would be for crazy billionaires only.
That's the current state
of our aerospace industry.
[Dr. Kaku] There is a nasty four-letter
word that has haunted the space program.
It's the "C" word.
Imagine your body made out of solid gold.
That's what it costs
to put you up in outer space.
That's why we have to drive down the cost.
[Urban] You can improve incrementally
when it comes to getting off of Earth
with cheaper rockets
and maybe better fuel.
But what was needed
was like a giant leap forward
in the cost of space travel.
And there really was one way to do that.
And it was the fact
that every rocket was used once.
There's a debate as to whether private
enterprise or the federal government
can create innovation.
[Jace] Privatization of space.
This is a very interesting subject,
to say the least.
[Raj] The private space industry
is a direct result
of NASA not being able to fund
everything it wants to do.
I don't think it's a bad thing,
it's a good thing.
[Urban] NASA has a lot of leadership
potential and a lot of budget potential.
And it can use it
to partner with these companies.
Rather than fight against these companies
and make its own rocket,
let the private companies
fight for who has the best rocket,
and then NASA will use that best rocket
to do its business in space and in Mars.
[newscaster] Welcome to the live webcast
of the SpaceX launch of the ORBCOM mission
from Launch Complex 40
out of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
[Nye] Elon Musk of SpaceX,
he asked, "What is it
we need to do to go to Mars?"
And people told him,
these are experts told him,
"We need to lower the cost
of getting into low Earth orbit."
Elon thinks of Earth as a hard drive,
and he thinks of humanity as
a very important file on that hard drive,
and Elon looks at the history
of mass extinction events
and sees the hard drive
has a tendency to crash.
Some people think it's fine,
just stay on Earth forever.
And some people don't.
Creating a self-sustained
civilization on Mars
to provide insurance for life
as a whole,
a future where we are
a space-faring civilization
and out there among the stars
is infinitely more exciting and inspiring
than one where we are not.
The goal of SpaceX is really
to build the transport system.
It's like building
the Union Pacific Railroad.
[Urban] What SpaceX is trying to do
is to build the first reliable
interplanetary railroad.
[Lauren Lyons]
Using today's standard technologies,
it would cost about $10 billion per person
to get to Mars and to live there.
That's pretty absurd. Not many people
on this planet that can afford that.
And if we're going to build
a real civilization there
where we have thousands,
if not millions, of people
living, working and thriving on Mars,
we're gonna have to
get that cost down significantly.
[mission control] T minus one minute.
[Urban] The idea is the rocket takes off,
pings a spacecraft into space,
either into low Earth orbit
or towards Mars.
The rocket comes back
and lands vertically,
gets some maintenance, gets refueled.
Boom! Pings another thing out into space.
It can do this all day.
It can send 15 things out in a day,
one rocket.
[mission control] Liftoff!
[Kluger] While the U.S. plans
to get human beings to Mars
sometime vaguely in the 2030s,
he believes he can cut that time
by 10 years
and get them there in the mid 2020s.
It never pays to rule out Elon Musk.
But, also, it never pays to get so seduced
by the Tony Stark side of Elon Musk
that we think he can do anything.
He's gonna come up against
the same obstacles
every other rocketeer in history has.
[Jace] Private industry is willing
to take risks that NASA isn't.
This could be economically.
They could try to throw a lot of money
at something that might not work.
But if it does work, boom.
You have something amazing.
[mission control]
The first stage is returning to land.
The second stage powers
the Earth satellites into low Earth orbit.
[Urban] If rockets aren't reusable,
then humans don't go to Mars
this century or next century,
or maybe ever.
[excited chatter]
[mission control] That is the first stage.
Coming back down and landing!
[more cheering]
I was just...not shocked, because I knew
we had what it would take to do this,
we had come so close in the past.
But feeling all of these things
that we've been talking about,
all this effort, blood, sweat, and tears
that went into this to succeed,
it was now real.
It was there in front of us.
Being a part of that unique moment
in history was just mind-blowing for me.
[Urban] Elon's idea is not
to make the Mars thing happen by himself.
Elon is trying
to start this chain reaction,
he's trying to
start a forest fire with a match.
By solving this one giant problem,
the fact that you had to build
a new rocket for every launch in the past.
By doing that, he thinks he can ignite
an entire new era of space travel
where we become
a genuinely space-faring civilization.
[Lyons] The vision of building
a civilization on Mars,
it's such a big, huge endeavor.
It's not something
one single company can do alone.
You need another perfect storm,
you need some perfect storm of resources
and technology and the right people.
And it's exciting
that I think maybe we have that.
What SpaceX is trying to do
is create a situation
where all these industries and governments
suddenly start saying,
"Well, now this is an option
we want to get in the game."
And suddenly, all this money
pours into rocket innovation,
into Earth/Mars industries.
Then that's what empowers the big push
to get a million people there eventually.
[Nye] Now, you can only go to Mars
every 26 months.
The orbits have to be oriented.
You can't just fly over the Sun.
We don't have enough rocket fuel for that.
[Alyssa] Sometimes Mars
is really close to the Earth,
sometimes it's really far,
because planets orbit
in an elliptical path.
And we'll stay on Mars for about
a year or two, depending on its orbit.
We have to wait for Mars
to come all the way back around
to its closest point
for us to come back.
[Kluger] Once you're there,
you have to be prepared
to stay for an extended period of time.
And once you're prepared
to stay for an extended period of time,
and the first handful of people,
four people, six people, eight people,
learn to live off the land
to the extent that that can be done,
learn to make Mars their home
for more than a few days,
once you do that,
you've hammered your first piton
in the great mountain
of colonizing another planet.
If you establish first a cargo route
and then a human transportation route,
you have to imagine
that by a year like 2060,
you have a thriving civilization on Mars.
It's gonna be this normal part of life.
There'll be people
going there for college,
people are going to be
in long distance relationships.
There will be people born on Mars
who want to go to Earth for a stint
to see the Eiffel Tower in the flesh,
to see the Sphinx in the flesh.
[Victoria] If we could have a Mars colony,
that would just be so cool,
to put footprints on Mars
and now we are having life living there.
We can put people there.
We can have people live there.
We could even terraform it
if we really tried.
What we're talking about eventually
is a blue-green planet with maybe
7 billion of its own people on it.
And you could look at a picture
of a gorgeous green mountain
and a lake and not know
what planet you're looking at.
[deGrasse Tyson] It's a brand new planet,
who knows what future economies await us
on that planetary surface?
Even if you can't think of one now,
it doesn't mean there isn't one.
And especially given
the history of exploration and discovery,
there probably will be.
[Kluger] When you go somewhere else
and live in a wild, rustic life,
you've made the decision that
that kind of life,
the world you're building,
is more valuable to you
than the world that's already built.
Your motivation is to live here,
to settle here, to die here.
Because what you have in mind
is three, five,
a hundred generations beyond you,
and you've made the decision
that you're going to be
the first stake in the ground
of that new world.
[Jace] Tell Orion that you're gonna start
their primary ingress checklist
for Commander and Pilot
and DDP 1 and 2 and B 1 and 2.
All right, first, Orion, on F1.
Primary ingress checklist
for Pilot and Commander...
All right, IDP CR22 power is on.
Major functions set to DNC.
We ordered that pizza 45 minutes ago.
It's been over 30 minutes. It's free now.
No it's not.
They stopped doing that anyway.
[Patrick] I want my free pizza!
-[Raj] All checklists are done.
-Yay! Ascent procedures.
[Raj] Everyone switch
to ascent procedures.
[all] Five, four, three, two, one...
[camper] Oh my goodness! That is amazing.
[Dr. Thomas] One thing that's
impressed me the most, of anything else,
is that kids today have that same drive,
that same interest, that same passion
for space exploration
that I had as a young boy watching
the first American launch into space.
-[camper] That's a lot of retro.
-[Raj] All right, listen up Orion.
Now we're done with launch so
start focusing on our checklist again.
Our engines are turned off.
We are good to unbuckle.
I'm floating around
in the most peculiar way.
Early this morning, the Space Launch
System launched from Cape Canaveral,
carrying along with it the Orion capsule
and six brave Americans
on their way to go boldly
where no man has ever gone before.
Let's do this!
[Kluger] Exploration is absolutely
embedded in our DNA.
If we are on this hill,
we want to know what's on the next hill.
We cannot help ourselves.
There's no reason for us
not to surrender to that impulse.
[Ferdowsi] The first steps on Mars
won't just be a national moment of pride,
but really a worldwide moment of pride,
and ultimately, I think, kicks off this
sense of exploration on the right foot,
of one that is
as an entirely global experience.
[deGrasse Tyson] I have good evidence
that space matters
to the hearts and minds of people.
There's something special,
I think, about the night sky
and about the universe
that lives within us.
[Nye] There are two questions
that get everybody.
The first one is: where did we come from?
Where did we all come from?
How did we get here?
And the other question is:
are we alone in the universe?
If we were to discover evidence of life,
or stranger still,
something alive on Mars today,
it would change
the course of human history
in the same way astronomy
has humbled us in the past.
The Earth is not flat.
We are not the center of it.
The Sun's the center of it.
Wait! The Sun's not the center of it.
We're just one more sun
in this galactic disc.
And we're not the only galaxy!
We're not by any means!
We're just these specks on a speck
orbiting specks in specklessness.
We're nothing.
Yet, we can understand that.
[Urban] Humans have lived
a thousand centuries so far.
This century is the first time
where suddenly going to Mars is an option.
[deGrasse Tyson] I think it's awesome that
we have an entire generation of people
who want to go to into space,
who want to go Mars,
who want to be STEM fluent.
But I can tell you that all of that
will fall on fallow soil,
if there isn't some big mission
on the other side
of that educational pipeline
where they can apply
this energy and this enthusiasm.
[Dr. Kaku] It's our duty
to breathe life and fire
into the imagination of these young people
so they will say,
"Yes! I want to become an astronaut!
I want to explore outer space!"
Because our true place is among the stars.
[Colin] Oh wow, we're landing.
We're landing. Guys, we're landing.
We are frickin' landing on Mars right now.
Dude, dude, dude.
We just landed.
We're on Mars.
[Abby] I hope that my generation
will be defined by Mars.
I can't think of a better thing
to be defined by!
[Jace] Somebody from my generation
will step out of the lander
and put their footprint down
in the Martian soil.
If I could contribute to that in any way,
it would be an amazing experience.
[Rachel] This date
will go down in history.
After a long 183-day journey,
six Americans have finally exited
the all-terra lander
and put their boots
in the red Martian soil.
[inspirational music plays]
The Mars Generation
[Jace] Exploration is
ingrained within our DNA.
Human beings,
they want to learn about the cosmos.
[Josh] We know so little about space.
There's so much to do
and so much to learn.
And I want to do it all.
[inspirational music continues]
[Aurora] Like, can you imagine
if there was just nothing else?
That we had found
everything there is to find?
Life would be so boring!
Let's go. Let's go to Mars.
[Raj] It's been long enough.
We need to go for it, full speed.
Because humans need to
do significant things,
because that's just how humanity is.
We gotta get off this planet
and we gotta land on Mars.
[inspirational music continues]
[calming space travel music plays]